Individuals and organizations from all across Ashland County brought their time and resources together to make this year’s Ashland County Back 2 School Celebration a HUGE success!
1000+ students received new…
Backpacks filled with new school supplies
How Our Community Accomplished This
It takes a highly coordinated effort to pull off the Back 2 School Celebration.
Associated Charities collaborates with school principals, liaisons, and local hair salons to meet the needs of children returning to school each fall.
The Back 2 School Celebration began three years ago when various nonprofit organizations in the county realized they all were after the same goal: making sure children in Ashland County have everything they need to go back to school.
Serving our community’s children shouldn’t be a competition. Instead, Executive Director of Associated Charities Chris Box along with Reagan Elementary School Principal Nicole Brodie suggested that these various organizations work together, pool resources, and have one BIG event.
The Associated Charities building was the hub for collecting school supplies, while the United Way went to work organizing the Stuff the Bus initiative. Volunteers from Associated Charities manned the giveaway process, sorting supplies and stuffing them into bags by grade level. Additionally, they provided shoes and coats during the Back 2 School event.
“It’s one of the greatest displays of community working together” that Laura Neff, assistant director of Associated Charities, has ever seen.
Serving Our Neighbors Multiplies Generosity
There are so many individuals and organizations who pulled together to make this event a success.
Groups in the community organized school supplies drives, including Tremco, churches, and Bill Harris Auto Center, while volunteers came together to make it possible to hand out those supplies, including the Hillsdale Football team and coaches, Ashland City Schools Superintendent Steve Paramore and Board President John Teevan, several area building principals and teachers, along with many more.
The students could select their choice of backpacks and received a separate pack of school supplies. Not every supply on the school supply lists for each grade level is able to be secured… but it’s a good start!
We’re so grateful to have the space in the Associated Charities building to host all of those supplies and volunteers.
Brightening the Lives of School Children across Ashland County
The Back 2 School Celebration does more than just hand out school supplies and clothes, it builds confidence and excitement in the hearts and minds of children throughout Ashland County.
The event levels the playing field for children and removes any negative feelings students might feel about not being able to afford new shoes, new school supplies, or a new coat. Students receive brand name, high quality, new supplies, lighting up faces with bright smiles and lots of happy “thank yous.”
Of course, the need in our community doesn’t end when school begins. Associated Charities works year-round with our incredibly generous donors and community partners to make sure those who need food, utility support, shelter, or clothing are able to find it. You can donate through PayPal or find our current food and hygiene needs on our website.
The holidays are right around the corner as well. Associated Charities offers
We are so excited to introduce our new friend Grace! Here is a little bio about her and how she is giving back to our community. Thank you Grace… you are amazing!
My name is Grace Rivenburgh, I’m 16 and a member of Girl Scout Troop 1756. I am working on completing a Journey Titled “Sow What”. A Journey is an in depth learning experience where you learn about a specific topic, do research, and complete a take action project. In the “Sow What” Journey program, I learned about global and local food system issues, environmental issues including climate change, and healthy eating. For the take action project of this journey I am collecting excess produce from the Park Street Community Garden and donating to Associated Charities. I chose this as my project because I wanted to help make fresh produce available to residents of Ashland county. 2 years ago I started making healthy eating choices and became vegetarian, I felt so much better and wanted to help other people eat healthier food and feel better as well.
Samaritan Hospital Foundation recognized a need in our community for no contact infrared thermometers. AND…… They blessed us with four thermometers for each of our entry doors!!! We thank them for blessing us with this donation!
We would love to share a “note from liaison” that we received last year:
I wanted to thank you for finding shoes for everyone in this family. There were 5 children in this family and I have been trying to connect with the parents all year. They have been hesitant to trust anyone. I have been looking for a way to connect and noticed that 2 of the children never wore tennis shoes, so I thought that might be a way I can help this family. I called the parents and found out all the children were in need and they agreed to allow me to try and find tennis shoes for the children. This is the first time they accepted help. I had tried at Thanksgiving and Christmas to help this family and they wouldn’t accept any help, I think due to pride. Which is admirable. These children are the sweetest kids you will ever meet. When I gave them their shoes they were so happy, it was all I could do to hold back the tears. I could not have done this without Associated Charities’ help. I know sometimes you don’t get to see the joy on the children’s faces and don’t always receive the thank you that you deserve. Not only were you able to give shoes to children in need but you also lifted their spirits and helped me build a relationship with the parents. Today it was shoes but tomorrow it may be a bigger need and now the family feels safer in reaching out to me.
This is the “why” we talk about so often. Thanks so much to all our donors and supporters that make all the “whys” possible!!
Thanks once again to our anonymous friends that donated almost a freezer full of hamburger!! We can’t thank this family enough for helping Associated Charities/Ashland County Food Bank throughout the year. We are so grateful for your support – Thank you!!
The Perrysville Satellite Food Distribution is held the 4th Wednesday of the month (except November and December) at the Perrysville Community Center from 6:00 pm until the food is gone. This program serves families residing in Ashland County and in the Perrysville/Loudonville school districts.
This week we celebrated Rosemarie Donley’s 10 years as Executive Director of Associated Charities. Our board president, Brett Mesenburg cited her many accomplishments with the construction of our new facility at the top of the list. As she moves on to another chapter in her life we wish her only the best – and may her life be filled with kindness – just as she has shown it to so many.